The Rochdale Hornets are one of the original twenty-two rugby clubs that formed the Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895, making them one of the worlds first rugby league clubs. Their main local rivals are Oldham Roughyeds, Salford City Reds, a Rochdale Athletic Club was formed in 1866 and held its first festival on the cricket ground at Merefield. Rugby football first took place as a game about 1866 or 1867. Within a year they were all playing alongside new members when working class men were allowed to join as well, other clubs quickly followed, among them Rochdale Wasps and Rochdale Juniors. In 1871, Rochdale Juniors and Rakebank merged to form Rochdale United, on 20 April 1871, the directors of Rochdale Wasps, Rochdale United and Rochdale Football Club met at the Roebuck Hotel in the town centre to form a senior team that would represent the town. Rochdale Butterflies and Rochdale Grasshoppers were suggested as names for the new club before Rochdale Hornets was agreed on, the original team colours were amber and black.
In 1875, Hornets played at Mr R. Kershaws Athletic Grounds in Vavasour Street, the club very quickly took a leading position in the game in Lancashire. Hornets had an open approach to membership and were able to insist on gate money as they played on an enclosed field. In June 1879, Rochdale Rovers threw in their lot with the Hornets, a ground was taken at Oakenrod for the 1879–80 season but owing to poor gates, Rochdale Hornets returned to Rochdale Cricket Club ground. In 1881 no fewer than 57 rugby clubs played in Rochdale and district, by the 1890s, the players were almost all working class. Rochdale moved to the Athletic Grounds in Milnrow Road, which opened on 9 June 1894 and their first game at their new home took place in September 1894 against Crompton. They were founder members of the Northern Union in 1895, Hornets made a poor start under the new regime and finished bottom of the league table, for a good number of years they lost many more matches than they won. They became tenants of the Athletics Grounds in 1900, between the 7–9 March 1901, a three-day bazaar was held at the town hall where around £1,000 was raised to help pay for the clubs debts.
Incidents from the played on 22 March 1901 resulted in the ground being suspended by the Northern Union. The players went on strike on 29 March 1902 as empty coffers meant that they went unpaid, Rochdale Hornets refused to travel to Dewsbury on 1 October 1904 on account of a smallpox outbreak, and were subsequently fined £20. Rochdale purchased the Athletics Grounds in 1913, Hornets won the Lancashire County Cup in 1911 and 1914. Between 10 October 1914 and 6 March 1915, Hornets played 25 games without defeat, shortly after this streak was broken by a defeat to Wigan, Hornets beat Broughton Moor 75–13 in a cup-tie on 13 March 1915, it was their biggest margin of victory since 1871. Twenty-five Rochdale players enlisted for the First World War, one of whom, Rugby League came back to Rochdale following the Great War on Christmas Day 1918 when Rochdale played a friendly game
Founded in 1973 as New Hunslet, a replacement for the original Hunslet F. C. they became Hunslet in 1979 and played as Hunslet Hawks between 1995 and 2016. In July 1973, the original Hunslet club was wound up because no new location could be found that was financially viable. The £300,000 proceeds of the sale of Parkside were distributed to shareholders, the resurrected club had a new badge depicting a rising phoenix to symbolise their rebirth. The stay at the stadium was cut short when the owners closed the ground. In 1978, coach Bill Ramsey put a lot of pressure on the RFL, the club reverted to Hunslet for the 1979–80 season. After leaving Elland Road, Hunslet had a spell at Bramley. On 19 November 1995, the club, now known as Hunslet Hawks, moved to the South Leeds Stadium, on that day, Leigh were the guests at Hunslets first home game for twenty-two years. They narrowly missed out on promotion from Division Two in 1996, coach Steve Ferres left to join Huddersfield and David Plange took over as player-coach.
In 1997 the Hawks played in the first Challenge Cup Plate Final losing 60-14 to Hull Kingston Rovers and it was the Hawks first appearance at Wembley Stadium since 1965. Also in 1997, the Hawks were promoted to the First Division as champions, in 1999 as a possible merger between Hunslet and Bramley was debated. In 1999 Hunslet won the Northern Ford Premiership Grand Final against Dewsbury, 12–11, after that game the Hawks were denied entry to Super League by the Rugby Football League who cited a document called Framing the Future as justification. This caused a number of players to leave the club and for the attendance to fall by more than 1,200 to 800. A link-up with Leeds Rhinos saw Plange go to Headingley as Academy coach, Paul March was the player/coach at Hunslet, joining midway through the 2009 season following the resignation of Graeme Hallas. March guided Hunslet to a 6th-place finish and a spot in Championship 1. Hunslet travelled to Blackpool in the first week of the winning, 18–21, to set up an elimination semi-final against Oldham in which Hunslet were comfortably beaten.
In 2010 Paul March led Hunslet to their first silverware for over 11 years by securing the Co-operative Championship 1 title, in 2012, Barry Eaton took over as coach. In 2014 Hunslet won the Grand Final after extra time against Oldham, Barry Eaton left in late January 2016 to join Leeds Rhinos and was replaced by his assistant coach and former Hunslet Hawks player Matt Bramald. Bramald left the club at the end of the 2016 season having completed his contract and he was replaced by former Hunslet player James Coyle
St Helens Recreation RLFC
Lancashire County Cup,2 1923-24, 1930–31 Lancashire League,1 1926-27 The club was founded in 1878 as part of the sports and recreational provision of Pilkington Glass. Initially the side played rugby union, and sometimes association football, however, on 14 June 1913, to settle the future of the club, it was announced that it was to abandon association football to concentrate on rugby football. After considerable discussion, it was agreed to join the constitution of the Northern Rugby Football Union. The Recs, still known as the St Helens Recs, were based at City Road. St Helens now had two rugby clubs, with the St Helens R. F. C. Despite their success on the pitch, they played their last game on 29 April 1939, the game was away at Hull Kingston Rovers, and Recs lost 25-12. The club had been suffering for a while on falling attendances and the economic depression, it was not possible for the town to sustain two teams
Odsal Stadium, is a sports stadium in Odsal, West Yorkshire. Odsal has been a venue for baseball, kabbadi, show jumping, live music, the stadium is used primarily as the home of Bradford Bulls Rugby League team. The current official capacity of the stadium is 26,019, formed in 1907, the Bradford Northern club had played at a number of venues including the Greenfield Athletic Ground in Dudley Hill and Bowling Old Lane Cricket Clubs ground in Birch Lane. By the early 1920s, Birch Lanes limitations were clear, on 20 June 1933 the club therefore signed a ten-year deal on the site, which was to become the biggest stadium in England outside Wembley. The site was a quarry which was being used as a landfill tip. The Director of Cleansing for Bradford City Council devised a system of controlled tipping that saw 140,000 cart loads of waste deposited to form the characteristic banking at Odsal. The club were to be responsible for fencing, dressing rooms. To be able to turf the pitch, and other areas, a stand was erected at the cost of £2,000, which was paid by the Rugby Football League.
It held 1,500 on a mixture of benches and tip-up seats, the ground was officially opened by Sir Joseph Taylor, President of Huddersfield on 1 September 1934. His club went on to beat the hosts 31–16, Australian winger Ray Markham scoring four tries in front of an estimated 20,000, the clubhouse and dressing rooms were officially opened before a match against Hull F. C. on 2 February 1935. Contemporary pictures show that as late as August 1935 the banking on the Rooley Avenue side was still being created. During the Second World War, the floor of the clubhouse was used as an Air Raid Precautions centre. On 20 December 1947, the largest ever attendance for an international test at Odsal was set when 42,685 saw England defeated New Zealand 25–9, the first floodlit rugby match in the North of England was held at Odsal in 1951. In September 1951, Council Engineer Ernest Wardley drew up a plan for a 92,000 capacity European style stadium, eventually £50,000 was spent on terracing the Rooley Avenue end in 1964, before the Wardley plan was officially dropped the following year.
The second test of the 1978 Ashes series was played at Odsal, the Lions team that day featured what was called a Dads Army front row with Jim Mills, Tony Fisher and Brian Lockwood all being over the age of 30. The grounds clubhouse had to be refurbished when it was condemned in the mid-1980s, the social facilities were upgraded at the same time. On 23 September 1985, a Football League delegation visited Odsal to view the stadium to pass it fit to host Citys home games. Segregation fences were erected on the old Main Stand side and 1,000 uncovered seats were bolted onto the terracing – it was planned to install 7,000 in the future
Rugby Football League
The Rugby Football League is the governing body for professional rugby league in England. The name Rugby Football League previously referred to the league competition run by the organisation. This has since been supplanted by Super League, the Championship, based at Red Hall in Leeds, it administers the England national rugby league team, the Challenge Cup, Super League and the Rugby League Championships. The social and junior game is administered in association with the British Amateur Rugby League Association, the Rugby Football League is a member of the Rugby League European Federation and as a senior Full Member has a combined veto power over the Council with France. The RFL is part of the Community Board, which has representatives from BARLA, Combined Services, English Schools Rugby League, eventually the Northern was dropped from its name at the beginning of the 1980s. The turnover of the RFL was reported as £27m in 2011, two days later, on Thursday 29 August 1895, representatives of 21 clubs met in the George Hotel, Huddersfield to form the Northern Rugby Football Union.
Twenty clubs agreed to resign from the Rugby Football Union, the Cheshire club, had telegraphed the meeting requesting admission to the new organisation and was duly accepted with a second Cheshire club, admitted at the next meeting. The 22 clubs and their years of foundation were, In 1908 the Northern Unions brand of rugby was taken up in Australia, the Union hosted touring sides from both countries before assembling a Great Britain representative team for a 1910 tour of Australia and New Zealand. These nations, particularly Australia, would go on to excel in the sport, the British Amateur Rugby League Association was created in 1973 in Huddersfield by a group of enthusiasts concerned about the dramatic disappearance of many amateur leagues and clubs. Fewer than 150 amateur teams remained with a mere 30 youth rugby league teams, the breakaway from the RFL was acrimonious and was strongly contested, with a vote 29-1 against recognising BARLA. Thanks to Tom Mitchell, this changed to a vote of approval for BARLA within 12 months.
Maurice Lindsay became the Chief Executive of the RFL in 1992, proposing the Super League, Lindsay returned to Wigan in 1999 for his second stint at the club after Sir Rodney Walker, chairman of the RFL, sacked him after a campaign to unseat him failed. The RFL accumulated losses of £1.9 million at the end of 2001, shortly before a restructuring of the governing body. Within a year of joining the RFL, he oversaw reunification with BARLA after nearly 30 years of division, Lewis left in 2012 to become Chief Executive of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. The RFL net value has been every year since 2004. The regional leagues may include winter competitions in addition, in 2012, the Rugby Football League were awarded the Stonewall Sport Award in recognition of their work in embracing inclusivity and tackling homophobia. They became the first UK sporting organisation to make the top 100 employers in the Stonewall Index that measures attitudes towards lesbian and bisexual staff. The RFL operates a system and is responsible for running the top three professional divisions as well as the National Conference League and various regional leagues below that
Liverpool Stanley was a semi-professional rugby league club from Liverpool, England. It was renamed Liverpool City in 1951, but was unrelated to the original Liverpool club of the same name. The clubs origins date back to 1880 when it was founded as Wigan Highfield, Lancashire League,1 1935-36 A professional club first emerged in Liverpool, called Liverpool City, in 1906, playing at the Stanley Athletics Ground. They hold a record in the professional game in the United Kingdom as being a team who lost every game in the season. At the end of season, they were replaced by two Welsh clubs, Merthyr Tydfil and Ebbw Vale. The Liverpool City name would be resurrected by the Highfield franchise, Highfield Rugby Football Club was formed around 1880 and went out of existence for a few years following the rugby schism of 1895. They reformed in 1902, the club playing in a league comprising the A teams of the major clubs. Although no colour photographs of the team exist, it is assumed that Wigan Highfields colours were yellow.
Highfield Rugby Football Club played in the Parish of Highfield, in Pemberton, in 1921–22, the club made an application for full Rugby League status, but it was decided that their Tunstall Lane ground was not big enough. By incorporating a field, it was possible to increase the size of the ground and their first match was against Wigan on 2 September 1922, at Tunstall Lane, in which Wigan beat Wigan Highfield 25–10. Highfield generally struggled in the half of the league tables. However, in their ten-year existence Wigan Highfield beat Wigan only once, in the Challenge Cup, Wigan Highfields best season was in 1925–1926 when they reached the semi finals. They saw off Wakefield and Leeds at Tunstall Lane before losing 15–6 to Oldham in the Semi Final at Salford and they reached the Quarter Finals in 1928–1929 but an 8–0 loss away at Castleford denied the chance of all Wigan semi final or final. In the Lancashire Cup, Wigan Highfield never managed to progress beyond the first round of the competition and they forced replays against Oldham in 1922 and Leigh in 1931 but all in all, the competition was a pretty miserable experience for them.
In 1926, the touring New Zealand Rugby League side visited Tunstall Lane, in 1932, Leeds played Wigan in an exhibition match at the White City Stadium in west London under floodlights. The owner of the stadium, Brigadier-General A C Critchley, was impressed enough to take over Wigan Highfield, who had finished second bottom in the league. He moved the club to White City and renamed the club London Highfield, the clubs old Tunstall Lane ground was sold off for housing. Highfields first home game on 20 September 1933 was against Wakefield Trinity in front of a crowd of around 6,000 spectators, overall London Highfield played 38 games and finished in 14th position on the table that year, having won 20 games and lost 8
Dewsbury Rams R. L. F. C. are a professional English rugby league club based in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire which currently competes in the Kingstone Press Championship. They play their games at the Tetleys Stadium, on Owl Lane. The Rams main fanbase comes from their hometown of Dewsbury but hold a strong following in Shaw Cross as well as neighbouring Gawthorpe and Ossett, prior to the 1997 season, the club was known simply as Dewsbury R. L. F. C. The club won a title in 1972–73 after finishing the regular season in 8th place. The club has won the Challenge Cup twice. The idea of establishing a football club in Dewsbury originated among a few friends at a meeting at the Little Saddle Inn in 1875. Established with immediate effect, Dewsbury Athletic and Football Club enrolled between 30 and 40 members, the first home game, it is generally held, took place on 4 December 1875 in a field off Sugar Lane, opposite the future Crown Flatt. In a 13-a-side scratch game, the two outfits – one selected by the Captain and the other by the Vice-Captain – fought out a draw, the club soon realised they needed a ground and the following year secured a sub tenancy at Crown Flatt for £200.
During the course of the 1879–80 season the colours changed from blue and cardinal to black, crimson. 1881 saw the clubs first success in the Yorkshire Challenge Cup beating Huddersfield, when York paid a visit to Crown Flatt on 25 September 1886, the home team took to the field wearing white jerseys that incorporated the boroughs coat of arms. Crown Flatt was rapidly gaining the reputation as one of the ground in Yorkshire. This was further enhanced when the club purchased the famous Noahs Ark stand at a cost of £250, in 1888, the club amalgamated with Savile Cricket Club and United Clerks Cricket Club to form Dewsbury and Savile Cricket and Football Club. The Yorkshire Senior Competition was formed in 1892 and Dewsbury immediately became members and they made their Senior Competition début at Liversedge on 10 September 1892, Dewsbury were beaten 2–10. The club struggled and finished in the three due to financial problems. The arrival of competitive leagues meant that attendances were increasing connected to on-field success, Dewsbury failed to adapt to the new era, attendances from onwards topped 2,000 only on rare occasions.
By 1895, Dewsbury were sporting blue and white, at a special meeting convened at the Kings Arms Hotel, Market Place, on 2 September, they elected to remain in the Senior Competition. It was not a popular decision, a local journalist reported that there wasnt a single supporter who wouldnt say Let us have the Northern Union and the sooner the better. Dewsbury marginally improved their position in the league to 10th, next season however they were back at the bottom
Halifax R. L. F. C. is a semi-professional rugby league club in Halifax, West Yorkshire, which formed in 1873. Halifax were one of the original twenty-two rugby clubs formed the Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895. They have been Rugby League Champions four times and have won the Challenge Cup five times and they have rivalries with neighbours Bradford and Huddersfield and with fellow Championship side Featherstone Rovers. Known as Fax, the colours are blue and white hoops, white shorts and blue. They share the Shay stadium with the football club, Halifax Town. The club was founded as Halifax in 1873, after winning the first Yorkshire Cup in 1878, they went on to win it on another four occasions. Several players were picked for the Yorkshire County side in these years, in 1886, the club moved to Thrum Hall, which would be their home ground for the next 112 years. The first game there was played on 18 September 1886 against Hull F. C. Halifax were founding members of the breakaway Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895.
In 1896, Halifax lost out on winning the first ever Rugby Football League Championship by a single point, in 1902–03, they achieved the double by winning the Challenge Cup and finishing top of Division One. They won the cup again the season, and were the first ever Championship play-off winners in 1906–07. Halifax won their first Wembley Challenge Cup final in 1931, beating York 22–8, an estimated 100,000 people lined the route to a civic reception at the town hall. Towards the end of the 1937 season and Mitcham folded after just one season in the league. The club had made a number of signings from the New Zealand All Blacks, including George Nepia and Charles Smith. In 1938, Halifax reached the semi-final of the Challenge Cup, in 1939, Halifax became the last team to win the Challenge Cup final before the war. Favourites Salford were beaten 20–3 in front of a record 55,453 spectators, in 1947 Halifaxs Hudson Irving died from a heart attack while playing at Dewsbury. In 1949, Halifaxs David Craven died after breaking his neck playing against Workington Town, the 1949 Challenge Cup final was sold out for first time as 95,050 spectators saw Bradford Northern beat Halifax.
In the 1950s, Halifax were Championship runners-up three times, beat Hull F. C. in Yorkshire Cup finals in 1954 and 1955, Halifax were unbeaten at their home ground of Thrum Hall between December 1952 and November 1956. After securing a Yorkshire league and cup double in 1955–56, the club was in sight of winning All Four Cups, Wembley was reached after a 11–10 Challenge Cup semi-final victory over Wigan at Odsal and Halifax beat St. Helens 23–8 in the Championship semi-final
Barrow Raiders R. L. F. C. is an English professional rugby league team from Barrow-in-Furness, which is coached by Paul Crarey. The club was formed in 1875 as Barrow Football Club, for the 1995-96 and 1996 seasons the club was known as Barrow Braves, adopting its current name for the 1997 season following a merger with Carlisle Border Raiders. Barrow Raiders compete in Kingstone Press League 1, the tier of European rugby league. It is thought that Tom H. Baynes, a clerk, was the driving force behind the clubs foundation. As well as being a player, he was the first Barrow team coach. Early practice matches games were played in a field loaned by a farmer as well as the Parade Ground. At the 1883 annual general meeting, Cavendish Park got the vote over the Parade Ground as a permanent home on account of its playing surface. The first grandstand there was erected in 1893, and another one in 1893, in April 1897, the team switched from rugby union to rugby league following a unanimous vote at the club.
Barrow joined the Second Division of the Lancashire Senior Competition and became champions in their first season and they lost a test match against Morecambe, the bottom club in the First Division and failed to gain promotion. They were eventually promoted at the end of the 1899–1900 season, in 1908, the club nearly doubled their attendance record to 12,000 in a third round Challenge Cup match against Hunslet. In 1914, Cavendish Park was requisitioned by the authorities for the war effort, Barrow moved to Little Park, three miles from the centre of town. The first match there was a 31–2 victory over Bramley, the league at this time was suspended and clubs were forced to arrange their own fixtures in an unofficial war league. After World War I, Barrow had mixed fortunes and when the league resumed in 1919–20, over the next decade, despite having several county and national players, Barrows form suffered and its league position was poor. In 1929, it had been realised that rugby league in Barrow was approaching a precarious period and this was in part due to industrial depression but Little Parks location.
The directors made an appeal to the town, and approached the mayor, commander G. W. Craven, a local war hero, started an appeal fund with a donation of £500. In a short time the club bought a site, where the Jute Works stood for £2,500. Craven Park was built in 1931, largely as a result of the efforts of supporters,500 of whom volunteered to construct the ground, the total cost of the building project came to £7,500 which was an unbelievable figure in those days. 1937–38 saw Barrow reach the finals of the Lancashire County Cup for the first time and that season was a time of great opportunity for the Barrow team but was to end in disappointment
Leeds Rhinos R. L. F. C. is a professional rugby league club based in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. They play their matches at Headingley Rugby Stadium. The club was simply as Leeds until the end of the 1996 season. They are known as the Loiners, referring to the demonym for a native of Leeds. In 1895, Leeds was one of rugby clubs which broke away from the Rugby Football Union. Leeds joined the Super League in 1996 and became Leeds Rhinos in 1997, the club is owned by the same company that owns Yorkshire Carnegie rugby union team, who play their home matches at Headingley. Leeds have won thirteen Challenge Cups, ten League championships and three World Club Challenge titles, jenkinson placed an advert in the Leeds Mercury inviting players to meet up at Woodhouse Moor a few days a week from 7 am to 8 am. That advert attracted more than 500 members, from this interest several clubs were formed, including Leeds St Johns. Leeds St Johns was formed in 1870 and was known as the Old Blue. The club played at the Militia Barracks from 1870 to 1888 before moving to Cardigan Fields, near Headingley, membership was originally confined to the church classes but was soon expanded.
By 1887 St Johns had reached its first cup final, the Yorkshire Cup losing to Wakefield Trinity, the city of Leeds had an abundance of rugby football clubs and although members of the Yorkshire RFU, it was decided to form a ‘more local’ association. It was for this reason that the Leeds & District organisation was formalised when a meeting place at the Green Dragon Hotel. The foundation clubs were Bramley, Hunslet, Leeds Parish Church, Leeds St John’s, in 1888 the Cardigan Estate was sold at auction and Lot 17a was purchased by a group of Leeds citizens, who intended to form the citys leading sports club. Lot 17a became what is now Headingley Stadium, Leeds St Johns played its final season under that name in 1889–90, before becoming the football section of Leeds Cricket and Athletic Co Ltd the following season. With Headingley still being completed, Leeds first game was staged at Cardigan Fields, the first game at Headingley was played on 20 September 1890, when Manningham were beaten by one try and one dropped goal to nil.
In 189227,654 spectators, a record in British rugby. A special general meeting was held in 1895 which voted decisively to support the breakaway Northern Union as a founder member, Leeds début in the Northern Union was a 6–3 success at Leigh on 7 September 1895, the inaugural day of the new competition. In 1901, the Leeds Parish Church team disbanded and put all of its players at Leeds disposal and that same year saw the formation of the Northern Rugby League, with a number of leading clubs leaving the Yorkshire League and the Lancashire League and joining the new competition
St Helens R.F.C.
St Helens Rugby Football Club is a professional rugby league club in St Helens, Merseyside currently competing in the Super League, the top tier of competition for rugby league in Europe. Formed in 1873, St Helens are one of the 22 original members of the Northern Rugby Football Union and have been champions on 13 occasions. St Helens are the third most successful side in the Challenge Cup with 12 wins in 21 Final appearances, St Helens are founding members of the Super League and are one of only four teams to have appeared in every season since its creation in 1996. Since 1961 the clubs colours have been white, with a red V on the jersey. St Helens play their games at the Totally Wicked Stadium in St Helens, having moved from their previous home, Knowsley Road. St Helens are one of the oldest members of the Rugby Football League, founded as St Helens Football Club on 19 November 1873 at the Fleece Hotel by William Douglas Herman, they played their first ever match on 31 January 1874 against Liverpool Royal Infirmary.
They became known as St Helens Rangers up until the 1880s, the club moved from the City Ground in 1890 where they had shared with St Helens Recs when neither were members of the Northern Rugby Football Union. They defeated Manchester Rangers in the first match played at Knowsley Road, in 1895 the club were one of 22 clubs that resigned from the Rugby Football Union and established the Northern Union. The first match of the new code was an 8—3 win at home to Rochdale Hornets before 3,000 spectators and they played in a vertically striped blue and white jersey—a stark contrast to the well known broad red band which would become the kit for the club later. The club reverted to this kit for one season during the rugby league season in 1995. The Challenge Cup was launched in 1897 and it was St Helens who contested its first final with Batley, at Headingley, the Gallant Youths of Batley emerged victorious 10—3, with Dave Red Traynor scoring the lone St Helens try. Between 1897 and 1901, St Helens were not successful, even considered a mid—table side.
They finished second to bottom in the 1900—01 Lancashire League season, in the 1901—02 season, they did finish third in the Lancashire league. In 1902–03, the combined Lancashire and Yorkshire leagues saw St Helens enter for the first time, St Helens were placed in Division 1 but finished next to bottom and suffered relegation. Promotion was gained at the 1st attempt, only for another year to see them finish once again in a relegation position. However the two Divisions became one League to save the club from a 2nd relegation, on 14 June 1913, St Helens Recs joined the Northern Union after defecting from rugby union and association football. The Recs were based individually at the City Road ground, after previously sharing with St Helens, before their move to Knowsley Road, the Recs played their first game on 6 September 1913. St Helens now had two rugby league teams
Castleford Tigers R. L. F. C. are an English rugby league club in Castleford, West Yorkshire, that plays in Super League. Formed in 1926, the club were members of the Super League in 1996 and have won the Challenge Cup four times. Their most recent major trophy was the 1994 Regal Trophy, Castleford have a rivalry with neighbours Featherstone Rovers, Wakefield Trinity and Leeds. The club have played at Wheldon Road in Castleford, since 1927 and their home colours are black and orange. Castleford RFC joined the Northern Rugby Football Union for the 1896–97 season, its second, not much is known about the original Castleford club, except that they have no connection with the present Castleford Tigers RLFC. Castleford joined the league for the 1926–27 season, many official records state that they were founded at this time but they had played successfully in the lower Yorkshire County Cup for several years before this date. They actually joined the League code around 1920 and played in early years at the Sandy Desert ground.
The club went professional in 1926 and moved to their current home ground on Wheldon Road in 1926. The club soon started to make a mark on northern rugby, winning their first major trophy when they topped the Yorkshire League in 1932, in 1938, they made it to the Championship finals, but failed to take the cup. The Second World War meant the league was suspended soon after, Castleford finished fourth in the national league in the 1962/63 season. Castleford picked up where left off when they were again beaten in the Championship finals in 1969. However, this seemed to spur the team on, and 1969 and 1970 saw Castleford win the Challenge Cup for two consecutive years, with clubs legends Alan Hardisty and Keith Hepworth leading the team. John Sheridan was appointed coach in 1973 for a spell. Castlefords finished a respectable ninth in a table but Sheridan stepped down following criticism from fans. During the late 1970s Castleford edged up the league, and in 1986 they made it to the Premiership final and they finished consistently high over the next few years, and finished in the top four clubs in the Championship for four years during 1990–1995.
Darryl van der Velde took Castleford to the Challenge Cup final Wembley where they were defeated by Wigan in 1992, a year later, Darryl van der Velde left to become chief executive of the South Queensland Crushers, he was succeeded by his assistant John Joyner. Through the Darryl van der Velde and early Joyner years Castleford were lauded for there style and were labelled Classy Cas and this enjoyable playing style was to come to fruition most spectacularly in 1994, when Castleford were dominating the league. As well as defeating legendary Wigan team to take the Regal Trophy 33–2 and that season John Joyner, was named Coach-of-the-Year by the RFL